The Art of Judgment: Reality Judgment

Enterprise Architecture May 19, 2023

A white paper exploring the role of Reality Judgment in Enterprise Architecture.

This white paper is the first in a series that explores the role of judgment in Enterprise Architecture. In particular, it focuses on the relationship between Enterprise Architect, the information, and the stakeholders that enable successful execution of that role.

Enterprise Architecture is more Art than Science.

The title is taken from a seminal book by Sir Geoffrey Vickers - The Art of Judgment (Ref [1]) - focusing on the types of judgment involved in perceiving the situation and decision making in the shaping of public policy.

Sir Geoffrey Vickers was ahead of his time in the use of systems thinking to examine the nature of regulation in human societies. He studied the continuous emergence of values and how they work through the processes by which we understand ‘reality’ and respond to it on large and small scales. He gave this framework a name: The Appreciative System.

This series of White Papers takes these ideas as their core point of reference and explores their implications in the field of Enterprise Architecture. EA may appear at first sight to be a field that has little to do with public policy making. However, they both share some common characteristics:

  • They operate on a large scale, over the long term
  • They deal with ‘wicked’ problems (Ref [2]) where the understanding of the problem shifts with every attempt to solve it (see Ref [2])
  • They routinely challenge the Status Quo
  • They rely on other (i.e. executive) organizations to implement change

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